Captain Romina Perrone, an Italian national who has worked on deep-sea liquefied petroleum gas tankers, and also gas and oil tankers, has spent the last nine years on land, but reckons her heart remains at sea.
Capt. Perrone, aged 46, was born into a seafaring family. Her grandfather was a cook on passenger vessels and her uncle an electrician on tankers. 'I don’t even know that I actually made a decision to go to sea. It was normal - my only dream from the age of five,' she told Nautilus in an interview.
She attended a maritime high school in the port of La Spezia south of Genoa, an important stop for Mediterranean cruise shipping. At the time, there was no academy, so seafarer apprenticeship and most training was on board ship.
Along with other officers, promotion was rapid and on 5 May 2001 she became a captain.
Capt Perrone married, wanted a child, and decided that a settled life was necessary for her daughter.
'My husband already knew me from when I was a captain on board ship, and as a fleet manager has always supported me in my career,' Capt Perrone said.
'As a mother of a young child I wouldn’t be able to spend months away at sea, so I changed my lifestyle, remaining a captain from the shore side.'
Capt Perrone retrained as a lecturer at the International Maritime Organization-backed, International Maritime Safety Security Environment Academy (IMSSEA) in Genoa.
Ashe also works as an inspector and in dry docks in a ship-management company set up with her husband after the birth of their daughter, Thea, now nine.
'While working on land I still feel the need for salt on my skin and would love to go back to sea when Thea is older,' said Capt. Romina.
'As a captain I’m working on land now but basically, I’m a tanker girl! I would love to go back to sea.'